Accutane Induced Severe Dry Skin & Eczema - New Jersey
I never had much of an acne problem. But...
- 26 Mar 2009
I never had much of an acne problem. But after several sessions of laser hair on my face I started to get lots of papular-pustular acne. I tried all the different topicals and antibiotics for acne. It also started on areas outside my face so maybe it was just my age (mid twenties).
I finally found a doctor who offered a "cure". He prescribed Accutane. I was fine at 30-60 mg levels . He put me on 120 mg / day in the second month. I started to get severe eczema that required steroids to treat. I stopped the treatment af the end of 2 months, but the severely sensitive and dry skin persisted.
It's been 2 years and my skin is still very sensitive. I cannot take showers (hot or cold). Just the water hitting my skin is enough to give me a rash. I cannot wear anything but 100 % polyester or silk.
You can't imagine how careful I have to be just getting out of my car, wearing a seatbelt, or giving someone a hug. The friction of the slightest rubbing gives me an itchy patch of eczema that spreads out of control quickly. I have to moisturize several times a day and bathe in oil.
All this and I was still getting acne on my face! I finally experiemented with diet. Cutting out dairy cured my acne. I cut out milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, etc. My acne went away for good in a few months. I've tested this periodically by having milk or icecream. And bam! the next day I get 3 or more pimples on my face. I can sneak in a little cheese here and there though.
I will go 6 months of more without any acne at all. Not one tiny pinprick whitehead. Then I have some milk and cereal or some icecream and the acne comes right back! It's not the milk itself. But the IGF-1 that is passed from the pregnant cow into the milk. This hormone acts like an androgen and makes the sebaceous (oil) glands go crazy.
My skin has gotten better slowly, but it is still extremely sensitive. I would recommend anyone going on Accutane do a "micro dose". There are studies out there showing that as little as 5 mg every other day (even once a week) is effective in curing acne.
I talked to my derm and he admitted he takes accutane still. He is in his 30's. I always thought he had perfect skin. But I saw him with a few whiteheads and he said he was on Accutane for two weeks, then would go off it for 6 months or more. He said he would never take it for more than 2 weeks at a time! And he did a 10 mg dose!
Too bad that isn't the "standard of care" for patients. But it goes to show you what the appropriate dose really is. Especially for people who only have a mild to moderate acne problem.